On Tuesday, Nilsa Rodriguez lis­tened to fes­tive music, ate mac­a­roni salad and social­ized with North­eastern stu­dents, who played dominos with their new friend from Boston’s Rox­bury neighborhood.

Rodriguez was among more than three-​​dozen senior cit­i­zens who enjoyed the Latino/​a Stu­dent Cul­tural Center’s sixth annual bar­becue on Forsyth Street. The stu­dents stage the event for the ben­efit of seniors from the La Alianza His­pana Adult Day Health and Drop-​​in Center, a Roxbury-​​based non­profit for the Latino community.

When asked what she will remember most about the fes­tive after­noon, Rodriguez, who was seated com­fort­ably in a lawn chair, joked, “I’m going to remember to come back next year.”

The annual bar­becue marks the only occa­sion all year in which nearly all of the center’s senior cit­i­zens get a chance to enjoy the out­doors, said a teary-​​eyed Maria Elisa Avel­laneda, the activ­i­ties coor­di­nator for drop-​​in center.

This is the best day of the year for the seniors,” she said. “It’s impor­tant for their inde­pen­dence and health to be able to interact with other people.”

The elderly have built a familial-​​like bond with North­eastern stu­dents, noted Rebecca Veira, assis­tant director of the Latino/​a Stu­dent Cul­tural Center (LSCC).

As she put it, “The seniors get used to inter­acting with the stu­dents and are reminded that they have family at the [LSCC] when­ever they need it. They can speak [Spanish] here, and feel com­fort­able and welcome.”

For stu­dent vol­un­teers, the bar­becue bridged a cul­tural and gen­er­a­tional divide.

I’m reminded of my grand­par­ents,” said Jen­nifer Sanchez, who was raised in Dorch­ester by par­ents who hail from Hon­duras and Puerto Rico. The junior, who is taking a com­bined major in com­mu­ni­ca­tion studies and cinema studies, said, “You can feel [the seniors’] love and energy.”

The bar­becue had the feel of a back­yard party in the middle of the summer, said Diego Pena, a junior chem­istry major. The outing, he said, also gave him a chance to hone his Spanish-​​speaking skills.

I don’t have a lot of time to prac­tice my Spanish,” said Pena, who plans to vol­un­teer at La Alianza.

Speaking Spanish is like exer­cising a muscle,” he said. “If you don’t do it, it goes away.”